In the mid-2000s, Korean street food vendors took cues from the Italian pasta dish penne alla vodka by introducing heavy cream into their traditional tteokbokki.
Tteokbokki is a popular stir-fried rice cake snack that is simmered in a spicy-sweet gochujang sauce. Gochujang is a Korean red chili paste with sweet heat and a fermented umami richness. The addition of cream results in a distinctive rosy color, hence the moniker “rosé tteokbokki.”
My previous Korean-French fusion salmon dish, a Creamy Gochujang Braised Salmon, blended those same spicy and creamy elements. This Korean-Italian fusion noodle dish also wows with a delicious fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried Korean red peppers in the paste.
Bucatini stands in as an interesting alternative for rice cakes because of its wonderfully chewy quality. Handmade bronze dies give the pasta a fabulous coarse, sauce-absorbing surface, perfect for soaking up all those spicy-sweet-creamy-umami flavors that rosé tteokbokki is famous for…
Little did we know on December 14, 2023 at the Dolby Live theater at Park MGM in Las Vegas, that we were witnessing the final show of his lifetime.
Our beloved country music icon, unapologetic patriot and huge supporter of our troops, kind-hearted philanthropist, and authentic troubadour Toby Keith, passed away less than two months later.
Here I honor his memory with a recipe and stories about his favorite sandwich.
Dolby Live at Park MGM, December 14, 2023
“Big Dog Daddy”
“Made In America”
“God Love Her”
“I Wanna Talk About Me”
“Who’s That Man”
“Wish I Didn’t Know Now”
“Beer For My Horses”
“I Won’t Let You Down”
“You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This”
“Don’t Let The Old Man In”
“Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes”
“Who’s Your Daddy?!”
“Red Solo Cup”
“As Good As I Once Was”
“I Love This Bar”
“Should’ve Been A Cowboy”
“How Do You Like Me Now”
“A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action”
“Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (Angry American)”
It was a special moment when Toby played his last big hit “Don’t Let the Old Man In.”
In 2017, during Clint Eastwood’s golf tournament in California, he shared with Toby Keith that he was about to leave for a three-month shoot for “The Mule.”
Toby, impressed by Eastwood’s ability to handle such a busy schedule at an older age, asked, “How do you do it, man?” Eastwood replied, “I just don’t let the old man in.” This sparked Toby’s creative process and inspired him to write the song.
💔 💔 💔
Toby then followed that song with a tribute to his late friend, Jimmy Buffett with “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.”
Here are a couple snippets from his last performance on December 14, 2023:
And my tribute to Jimmy Buffett with a recipe for a “Cheeseburger in Paradise” here. 🍔❤️🍔
I Love This Bar & Grill opened at Harrah’s Las Vegas in 2005. It had a long run but never reopened again after closing due to the pandemic in 2020.
In this video, the singer tells the story of the executive chef at Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (Harrah’s parent company) who was thoroughly displeased upon discovering a fried bologna sandwich featured on the new restaurant’s menu.
Despite the chef’s initial decision to remove it, Toby stood firm on keeping it. Eventually, the chef acknowledged that the sandwich was responsible for the restaurant’s remarkable success, boasting an opening volume three times greater than their other establishments.
I also read that Toby had a horse named Fried Bologna. I hope that’s true. 🐎
How to Make
🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 Toby Keith’s Favorite Sandwich 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
Exactly fourteen years ago, I hosted a Porchetta Party at my home where we crafted a lovely porchetta roast and other porchetta dishes entirely from scratch. However, this time around, things are a bit different. I’m opting for convenience by cooking a pre-made roast from Costco. While it’s a simpler approach, the results are still delicious.
Porchetta stands as an Italian culinary masterpiece. It involves a dexterous process of hand-rolling and tying a free-range heritage pork loin and belly. This delectable creation is stuffed with a blend of spices, garlic, and lemon zest. Seasoned with a mix of salt, lemon juice, and white wine, the porchetta is then roasted to perfection.
With its succulent savory interior and crave-worthy crackly skin exterior, Porchetta Roast makes an impressive and photogenic centerpiece. Leftover roast can be transformed into equally spectacular Sandwiches.
Dry Miso paired with lemon juice, olive oil, and snipped fresh chives results in an innovative 5-ingredient octopus carpaccio with that unmistakable Nobu touch. The dry miso adds texture, saltiness, and savory umami flavors to the dish.
Red miso paste is a fermented soybean paste with a deep, rich taste that anchors it as a cornerstone in Japanese cuisine. This miso undergoes a longer fermentation process, resulting in a darker hue and a more complex profile than white miso.
Red miso powder represents a creative twist on the traditional Japanese paste. This dehydrated gem captures the bold essence of classic red miso in a powder form, where it can be used in ways that a paste cannot.
Michael Mina Restaurant
Bellagio, Las Vegas
The Black Cod with Black Truffle Dashi
Nestled within the luxurious Bellagio resort in Las Vegas, the Michael Mina restaurant offers an exquisite dining experience that reflects the Chef’s commitment to culinary innovation and top-notch service. Boasting an upscale atmosphere, the restaurant’s interior design is chic and contemporary, creating a stylish backdrop for a most memorable meal.
Chef Mina is renowned for his modern take on American cuisine. He often combines classic flavors with a fresh perspective, resulting in dishes that are both sophisticated and approachable.
The Miso Black Cod with Aromatique Vegetables and Black Truffle Dashi is a superb dish in true Michael Mina style, an elegant presentation with dashi poured at the table.
Black cod is glazed with a miso-based marinade. The fish has a delicate, buttery texture and rich umami flavor. It is broiled to perfection and the result is a beautifully caramelized exterior with a slightly crispy texture and a lusciously moist and flaky interior. The sweet and savory miso glaze not only enhances the natural sweetness of the black cod but also imparts a unique depth of flavor to the dish.
Black truffle dashi adds a layer of sophistication, a heady aroma, and a sumptuous touch. The dish showcases the culinary artistry of balancing flavors and textures while highlighting the natural qualities of the black cod.